A new report from the American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition says Michigan lost 315,200 manufacturing jobs during the last eight years -- a 35.5 percent reduction that represents the biggest percentage decline in the nation. Total job loss of 489,900 during the same time period is more than three times worse than during the oil-induced Rust Belt downturn of 1974-82. How the current state downturn compares with the Great Depression isn't known because there's no jobs data from that period.
The worst total job losses have occurred in Detroit-Livonia, Flint, Jackson and Saginaw.
The report also said the average annual compensation per job of $51,964 in Michigan is 33.4 percent less than for manufacturing jobs, $78,020. The industry segment that includes stock brokers and fund managers is the only one adding jobs with higher average compensation than in manufacturing.
The American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition on Friday called for the next administration to craft a national manufacturing policy and released the report highlighting the severity of Michigan's manufacturing job losses.
"There are deeper and more structural problems with our economy than the banking crisis," Auggie Tantillo, the coalition's executive director said. "We are hollowing out the production base of our nation."
"This is far worse than Michigan has ever suffered in its past," Charles McMillion, the report's author, who is president and chief economist of MBG Information Services in Washington said.
The coalition is lobbying for an end to what it sees as unfair trade policies and currency manipulation in China, and renewed investment in the manufacturing sector, among other goals.
"No one wants to set up Fortress America," Tantillo said. "What we are asking for is fairness and transparency."